In many ways, R.F. Kuang’s Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History seemed a novel written for me: nerdy, linguistic, political, with a dash of fantasy. Specifically it: For all these reasons, it resonated more with me than it would, perhaps, with other readers, even other Asian-Australian or Asian-American readers. I mean, I too have considered writing a work of fantasy fiction based on … Continue reading Babel, or how not to write yourself into your novel
The other day after work, I was flowing with the peak hour crowd down Anzac Parade, when I witnessed something awful.
An Aboriginal man was heckling and shoving an East Asian man. The Indigenous guy was yelling obscenities and things like “Go back to where you came from!” to the suited up Asian guy, who was trying, literally, to shake him off. That was Awkward thing Number 1.
People just watched. And did nothing. That was Awkward thing Number 2.
By people, I mean mainly Asian people. The University of New South Wales appears to be predominantly Asian, even the law faculty – a contrast with the College of Law at my own alma mater. That was Awkward thing Number 3.
And I did nothing because, frankly, I’m both Asian and female. I actually thought I might get hit. That was Awkward thing Number 4.
It made me think about how Australia is not the place I thought it was when I was little. Continue reading Australia: Not the place I thought you were
Approaching this Australia Day, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Australianness. Or lack thereof. It’s not that I’m experiencing epic reverse culture shock now that I’m back in Australia (just a little …), but certainly the relationship between my personal identity and my country has undergone significant transformation. As a child I felt more foreign than I should have. Probably because I went to a really … Continue reading 80% Australian